October 28, 2010

Thursday's Ten - Halloween Style

The following is a repost from last year.  Some of you weren't around to enjoy it, so I thought I would share it again.  That and I'm super busy right now. 

I've never been all that creative when it comes to Halloween costumes. My mom was the time that would throw something together and call us a gypsie. Some of my costumes have been more creative than that, and some just fell flat...

10. Two years ago I went to a "famous singers" themed party.

So I curled my hair, but put on too much makeup and went as J-Lo. The effort is lost since you can't see the velour track pants in the picture. Or not.

9. Cowgirl is a common one that I do. I've got the boots and the hat. Its too easy.

8. Then there was that time I went as Laura from Little House on the Prairie.

Oops...wrong holiday - that was Easter.

7. I had a horrible cut/color experience last October that left me looking like Elivra...

6. Then there was that time my sister and I got into my mom's makeup case and used her pink lipstick to draw a star and the words "Jem" on our faces.

5. I've been known to dress as a runner a time or two...

4. Or don a football jersey (with my dad)

3. One year, I borrowed my dad's pants, wore my throwback Lou Gehrig jersey, wrist bands, chain and padlock around my neck, and went as WWE Superstar John Cena.

Everyone thought I was Eminem.

2. I had a brief stint as a UT Vol cheerleader (That's my dad again - back in the day he was a dead ringer for Earl Hickee)

But my #1 all time best costume ever, was the year I went as Cowboy David. My aunt had recently married a guy named David. He wasn't a cowboy, but a music minister for a Baptist church. Not sure where I came up with that one. As we were scanning in the pictures for the wedding - Jay commented on how cute I was in my minnie mouse dress "but who's that little boy."

PS - The one in the dress is my sister.

October 26, 2010

The One Where You Give Me Advice - the Halloween Edition

Help!  I'm going to a Halloween party this weekend and I still don't have a costume.

I hit up my local discount stores at lunch today and the selection is pretty poor.  Unless I want to pay $20 for the privilege of being a "Twilight Vampiress", a rebel fairy, or Lady Gaga (which I don't) then I'm out of luck.

Right now I'm considering one of the following choices.  Please vote for your favorite.  Or even better, leave a suggestion of a cool costume I can piece together with the stuff I have at home.

1) 80's girlHow to accomplish: Hair teased and put in pony tail on the side of my head
blue eyeshadow and pink lip gloss
black tank top, layered under black tee torn to fall off one shoulder.
Denim mini with black leggings
Jellies-eque heels
Possible problems: exposed legs, cold arms

2) CowgirlHow to accomplish:Cowboy hat
Plaid shirt
Denim skirt (or jeans)
Possible problems:  Mistaken for my regular wardrobe, exposed legs
3) Brett Favre caught with his pants downHow to accomplish:

Favre Jersey
Cell phone pointed toward crotch
tiny shorts to be worn (unseen) under jersey
Possible problems: fellow party goers don't know who Brett Favre is, exposed legs

4) John Cena
How to accomplish:

Throwback jersey (Lou Gehrig in my case)
Matching hat
Hubby's denim shorts
Tennis sweat bands
Possible problems: Mistaken for Eminem.

5) Fairy
How to accomplish:

Pink dress
Possible problems: cold arms, exposed legs.  what for shoes?

6) Miss TennesseeHow to accomplish:

formal gown (I have a 50s style)
heavy makeup
Possible problems: how to make sash?

So that's my list of ideas.  What do you think?  Which is your favorite?  Or do you have a great idea that would be easy for me to put together.  Please dish!!

October 25, 2010

Training, Trophy Wife, and Birthday report

This was a full weekend for Super Boo and family.  Friday night was spent...okay so Friday night I didn't do anything but play on the computer and watch TV.  But the rest of the weekend was busy!!

Saturday morning started with my 13 mile training run.  Since the mileage is getting up there I'm having to get a little more creative with where I run.  The Parkway here in town is a straight shot through 2 of the 3 major cities in my county.  I knew that I'd be able to go out and back 6.5 miles no problem.

What I didn't count on is the million and ten crosswalks I'd have to stop at along the way and almost getting ran over by a coworker's teenage daughter.  In her defense she was trying to be sweet.  What most drivers don't know about runners and bikers, is that as a general rule we'd prefer you to go first. 

Things go much more quickly (assuming everyone sees everyone else) if you go ahead.  We only have to slow up a bit then we continue on our way. If you stop, we're gonna slow up too.  We don't trust you.  Then we have to be stopped long enough to trust that you're not going to run us over.  Then we go. 

And the cars lined up behind you are cussing us both.

The route - with a good parking area as well as bathroom facility - ended up being 13.33 miles.  My longest run ever.  Hard to believe that in the next couple months I'll double that mileage.  I had more in me today (I quasi-sprinted out the last quarter mile) and could have gone further, which was encouraging.

After the run I headed back to the house to get some cleaning in.  The In-laws would be arriving later that night and I wanted to get everything picked up/clean before they got here.  Between twitter, facebook, and my messy house, it took every bit of the 3 hours I had to get the job done.

Then it was time to get showered up and play trophy wife.

One of Jay's clients had recently married, and invited us over to their house for a post wedding celebration.  They'd called it a hoedown and mentioned that polo's and khakis were too dressy.  Jay assumed that they just wanted people to be comfortable casual.

I hate my wardrobe.  It really sucks.  Especially with this up and down business my weight has been doing.  I only had one pair of jeans that fit that can be worn with flats (and I wasn't crazy enough to try heels after that morning's run).  Since they were black in color and low in rise I had to be picky about what top I put them with.  I picked out a cute white (long) polo and a sweater.

Jay took one look at me and said "I pictured you wearing something like...um...well...um" as he looked through my closet.  He ended up finding a really dressy button up shirt I wear with slacks to work.  His suggestion had been less than helpful.  He told me I'd probably get too hot inside in the sweater and to wear something else.

So I picked out a cute short sleeved top and we headed out.

I wanted to kill Jay when the host greeted us outside in a wife beater and overalls.  It was a country bumpkin themed party and we were the only ones who didn't dress to theme.  On top of that most of the party took place outside on the screened in porch in the cool fall air. Thankfully the hostess offered to lend me a jacked so I didn't freeze to death.

I was nervous since I'd never met any of the party goers, but I quickly found that everyone was friendly and easy to talk to.  In our treat bag, I found an invitation to next years event.  They want to make it a yearly thing.  Next time, we will come dressed appropriately!

We had a great time and stayed much longer than we'd anticipated.  When we got home we found Jay's parents asleep on the couch.  As per our usual, we stayed up late chatting until we finally called it a night around 3AM.

Yesterday was Jay's birthday so for lunch we headed up to the land we just sold for a picnic.

The four of us, plus my parents met up there for pizza and homemade cobbler (is it still homemade if I used canned peaches?)  After that we headed toward another development - this one with a creek - so Jay could get more pictures.

Then it was back to the house to hang out and watch the birthday boy's favorite new show - Ice Road Truckers in India. 

Is it any wonder that I'm exhausted?

How was your weekend??

October 22, 2010

Its so hard to say goodbye...


While that intro might have you thinking this is a "flashback Friday" post, I'm sorry to disappoint.  Please enjoy eavesdropping on this letter instead.

Dear Enclave at Cove Mountain,

When my husband first mentioned buying you at auction, I have to admit I was skeptical.  Was Jay really confident that he could do a better marketing job than the previous owner?  What gave him that confidence.

Then the call came.  He informed me that he was the high bidder, but since it didn't meet reserve the bank could reject the offer.

Only they didn't.  Instead they countered.  For far more than I was willing to pay for you.

Whether my actions show it or not, I truly believe that my husband is the head of the household.  Not because he's more important than me, smarter than me, or at all better than me.  But because God said so.  I trust Him to take care of me no matter what.  I also trust that my husband is darn good at his job (hence us having the money to even consider purchasing you.)

I deferred to Jay's wisdom in how to handle the counter offer.  I prayed hard.  You represent risk.  You took away my bathroom remodel.  You scared me.

Then came the offer.  Just a few days after we received the official deed in the mail, we were in contract to sell you.  I was thrilled, excited, thankful even to be getting rid of you.

Don't get me wrong - you're beautiful.  Truly.  And I hope someday you make a good home to some loaded soul who can afford to build a million dollar house* to go with your million dollar view**. 

*Literally - homes to meet subdivision regulations are $1 million + in cost.
**Figuratively - at no point has anyone paid any where close to a million dollars for it.  We certainly didn't.

In closing, I would like to say that I appreciate you letting us stop by this weekend for one final goodbye.  Jay and I, together with both sets of our parents, will come to use your pavilion to celebrate his 31st birthday.

And to celebrate that check we got in the mail for getting rid of you.

Its been fun.


Your previous owner

October 21, 2010

I am lovely...

Things are crazy around here right now, add that to a crappy mood and I thought we could all use this little rerun from several months ago.
I'll just come right out and admit that this may not be the most well written blog I've ever posted, but I think its desperately important that I post it.

Last night on the way home from work, I started composing it in my head with no knowledge of the evening God had in store for me. I wanted to talk about the mistakes we make comparing ourselves to others.

Whenever I get down on myself or head down that road, Jay points out all the great things I have going in my life. "What if your blog readers feel the same when they read about all your victories?"

I assured him you all wouldn't do that. After all you're not as crazy as I am. In reality though, I know its not just a problem that I have.

So in my head I decided to compose a blog about how nothing is more annoying than a conceited blogger. Whether is the runner chick talking about her "easy run" of a 9 minute mile pace (for the record a 10:41 pace is my personal record) or the frugal mommy blogger talking about how being a 2 car family is a luxury not a necessity.*

*Maybe for her - but I HAVE to work to provide my hemophiliac husband with good medical insurance. Public transportation isn't an option for us. Him driving me to work every day so he can have the car just in case he needs to show property isn't a viable option.

Notice how defensive I become when I perceive that some else thinks I'm not good enough?

Any way I never want anyone to read my blog and come away with that feeling. Sure I'm obsessive/compulsive but because I exercise I think I have to do it 7-10 times a week, doesn't mean I think everyone should. Heck I'm even just sane enough to realize that a more healthy, well balanced individual couldn't exercise that much!

One thing I love about the Sisterhood? Even though my weight didn't start out as high as some of the other girls - in truth my starting weight is some people's goal weigh - there was never any judgment from the sisters. In a way I really do think that we sisters with smaller weight loss goals add something important to the group.

If there is anything I could pass along with Sisters just starting the journey is that just losing 100 pounds isn't going to make you love yourself any more. You will not like you at 150 pounds any more than you liked you at 180 unless you change you who are in the process. Change how you view yourself. Change your mind along with your body.

I hesitate to talk finances much on this blog because I know that there are people out there truly hurting right now due to money problems. I don't want my victory to be the salt in their open wound.

But why does it have to be that way?

Then I sat down last night to read more of my So Long Insecurities book by Beth Moore.

What a message God had for me. Fitting (and not at all coincidental) that I read those chapters just a few hours after composing the above blog in my head.

The first part of the book wasn't revelational to me. She took the first half to describe insecurities, what they look like, and how the root might have developed in our lives.

Lady I know I'm insecure, you don't have to convince me. I did, however, enjoy reading that I wasn't alone. I'm not just some messed up anomaly.

Last night we began to dig deep. Chopping off the top of our insecurities isn't enough. We have to pick up our shovels and pull these guys up by the roots.

She hit me with a couple of verses that about knocked me off the couch. Had God written these verses just for me? Dang I must be special if He wrote it in one book, I skimmed over it, and He felt compelled to included it in another book 2,000+ years later just so I'd get the message.

Psalms 84:1 How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty!

Considering that believers in Christ have the Holy Spirit dwelling within them - that means I'm lovely! She even had us say those words out loud - twice.

"I am lovely."

The with more emphasis (and as a chronic pleaser I obeyed)...

"I am lovely."

"Yes, you are." Okay so I thought Jay would think I was insane for talking to myself while reading. Apparently he doesn't think I'm crazy, just lovely.

Then I continued reading and saw Beth Moore's next words "Yes, you are."

"Hey - you and Beth Moore agree!"

Seriously though, she recommends saying it every morning when you first wake up and look at yourself as you brush your teeth.

For whatever reason that means so much more to me than the verse Lois is constantly reminding me about when I read her blog about being fearfully & wonderfully made. Sure He made me in His image, but those trips to McDonald's really screwed up His masterpiece.

This verse, however, speaks to today. Today I am the dwelling place for the Holy Spirit.

The other verse she shared was one that really got me - Galatians 5:26.

That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.

Did He really inspire those words all those years ago? Cause it sure sounds like He thought them up after seeing me compare my running & biking times with all my friends on the Daily Mile.

Maybe none of this is as touching to you as it is to me. Maybe I'm the only one in the blogosphere that needed this lesson, but oh how I needed it!

I hope today you realize just how lovely you are. And if you're like me, and sometimes have your doubts, I pray that you would remember these scriptures. Claim it. Own it. Know it.

You are lovely.

Why yes, yes I am

October 18, 2010

On Cosby Moonshine Run - Race Report

My mom, Jay and I had all registered for this 3.2 mile race.

Mama wanted to walk it for the t-shirt (which I don't have a picture of unfortunately), but started getting nervous the night before.  None of the paperwork said it was walker friendly.  It also didn't list a time limit, so I assured her that walking was fine.

It was false confidence - I had Karena's horror of a half marathon in the back of my mind.  But I certainly wasn't going to tell my mother that.  If need be, I'd go back after her and walk the final part with her.  My middle finger works just as well as any one's. 

(Did I tell you I was all decked out in my wedding veil and flipped someone off on the way to the church?  Yeah not exactly one of my finer moments, but he deserved it.)

Besides I had almost landed in the Cocke County Jail once this past weekend - my dad reffed the Cocke County/Morristown East game.  One of the plays moved very quickly and he couldn't get out of the way fast enough.  He went down hard and from the stands I could see his head bounce off the field.  Some jerk a few seats away from me started laughing.

I'm the first person in line to make fun of my dad - but you're certainly not allowed to do it.  I glared his way and said "Its not beeping funny." Not in a whisper nor a yell.  Either he didn't hear me, or didn't feel like getting blood on his new knife, cause he never turned around.

I made it through the game without hurting anyone, and my mom made it through the evening with a little anxiety.  My dad walked away from the field with 3 cleat marks in his hand.

Jay & I spent the night with my parents since both the football game and race were on their side of town.  Rather than driving back to our house late Friday night and again early Saturday morning, we just crashed in my old room.

When we checked in my mom had me ask if the course was open to walkers.  They assured her it was, and while they didn't know the slowest times from last year, they assured her that most every year someone walks the race.

That's my mom in the coral fleece and navy hat.  I'm to the left of her in my polka dot bondi, white tee, and black shorts.  We don't look like we're in the same climate do we?  It was 40 degrees at race start, so I could have probably gotten by with pants but otherwise I felt comfortable.

(I like that picture b/c I think my legs look skinny.)

The gun sounded and off we went!  Jay was in front (no picture - sawry) then I was shortly behind.

(I'm behind the kid.)  Followed by my mom.

There were 2 other walkers, both about 2 decades younger than her...

It was an out and back course that went about a half mile on the main road (yes, from what I understand this 2 lane road is the "main road") then cut back to the left and went on a back road that ran along side the creek.

When I made the turn, I thought my pace was off.  The race director had said about a half mile until the turn and I made it around the 6 minute mark.  When I got to the first mile marker, I realized he was off.  I'd completed my first mile in 9:17.  Knowing that this pace wasn't sustainable for me over a long stretch, I decided to keep it up as long as possible.

I started passing runners coming the opposite direct and kept my eye out for Jay.  The closer I got to the turn around the more I started to worry.  He doesn't train for these things, then takes off in an almost sprint on cold muscles.  When I reached the "Moonshiner" directing the turn around, I saw Jay crouched down.

Me: "Are you okay?"
Jay: "Yeah I'm fine, just waiting for your mom."

I figured one of 2 things had happened - he'd gotten hurt and didn't want to ruin my race.  Or else he wasn't as fast as he'd hoped and packed it in early using my mom as an excuses.

I kept running and checked my time at the 2 mile mark.  I can't remember exactly what it was, but it was sub 20 minutes.  At that point between my lungs and my head I started having doubts.  My goal was to beat my 5K time despite the extra tenth of a mile in race distance.

"You're not this fast.  You can't keep this up.  You're not going to beat your time.  Why do you set yourself up for failure."
Up until that point, I hadn't turned my IPod on, but I had the ear buds in ready to go just in case I needed a boost.  When the negative voices in my head started telling me that I couldn't, I cranked the music up and blasted those thoughts away.

When I got back on the main road I realized I could really do it - my time was good enough that I had a shot at me beating my PR.  I kept up the faster pace.  When I got back to the school, I couldn't see the finish.  When the race workers directed me onto the walking track, I asked how much further.  I wanted to know if it was time to kick on the afterburners. 

They didn't know the distance, just told me to follow the path.  I held up on kicking it into high gear until I rounded the corner and saw the finish line.

I sprinted out the last tenth of a mile and crossed the finish line in 30:23.

That's supposed to be me crossing.  No one ever said my dad was an expert photographer.

I grabbed some water and a banana and went back to the finish line to stretch and wait for Mama & Jay.  My dad was regretting not walking - his knees, especially during football season, give him problems.  He hadn't signed up for the race out of fear that he'd be hurting from the night before.

As I explained to him how flat the course was, and how there were no hills, and how it was the easiest course I'd ever done, a lady behind me chimed in.  "There was a hill - it was from the turn around until about the 2.5 mile mark."
Oops.  Guess I stuck my foot in my mouth again.  Remember when my lungs and head were screaming at me?  That was during the so-gradual-I-didn't-even-notice-it uphill portion of the race.

I started cheering as soon as I saw Jay and my mom on the walking track.  In both of her races she has sworn to walk it all, only to trot across the finish line.  See the way Jay's walking to my mom's jog?  He does that to me all the time - it drives me nuts!

They crossed in 47:46 - a minute and a half off her 5K PR.  If you've never believed me before that the hills in this area can be killer - this should be your proof!

We stuck around for door prizes and awards, neither of us thinking we would place in our age group, but she hadn't caught her time crossing the finish line and was hoping that after everything was handed out the race director could tell her what her official time was.

We were in for a surprise!  Female 30-34 second place with a time of 30:23 Brooke F!

(Now that the race was over I was cold, so I borrowed my dad's sweatshirt.  Not the most flattering look but I didn't care.)  Look at the giddy "omgIcouldcrapmypants" look on my face.

Speaking of.  As it turns out the real reason Jay didn't finish is because he was plagued by the same problem that has been plaguing runners for decades.  Since there were no portapotties on the course and he refused my mom's suggestion of just going in the creek, he walked the 2nd half of the race.

Female ages 55-59, 3rd place:

Sure she was 3rd out of 3 in her age group - that just means that she was more brave than all the other grandmas that stayed at home that morning!!

Jay's time was on pace to place in his age group, had he been able to maintain it.  The race didn't go as he'd anticipated and my dad was still his normal grumpy self, so while my mom and I celebrated, the mean weren't as excited and proud for us as they should have been.

(Notice the lovely bandage on his right hand?  That's old people crepe skin for ya.  A 200 pounder steps on you wearing a cleat and you have to make a big deal of it.)

I'm very proud of this picture and I hope she is too.  Followed by our fish tale:

The race winner and the over all prize.

And us returning them to their rightful owners.  My dad had struck up a conversation with one of the kids, thinking he recognized him from the night before.  Turns out it was a different dude, same hair style.  My mom ask him if we could borrow his moonshine jug for a picture, then this little boy offered to let us hold his race winner trophy as well.

Yes, they were kids - quite a few members of the Cocke County High School cross country team participated in the race.

Just a week or so ago, I was asking Lightening McHooker if she thought that a sub 30 minute 5K was really possible for me.  She said I'd need to do some speed work, but if I worked on it after the marathon I could get there.

Had this race been a true 5K, I would have been sub 30 minutes - so I'm guessing its not that far fetch of a goal after all!!

October 14, 2010

Me Exposed

Just a preface - my exposed post isn't going to be like everyone else's.  That's okay though, because I'm not like everyone else.  This concept was born out of frustration and something that didn't work - but now I'm glad it didn't.  This post represents me and isn't that what the movement is all about? For more traditional exposed posts visit the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans and the exposed Queen Mish.

What does Super Boo look like when she strips down?  When she sets the cape and alter ego aside?

She's the girl who tries desperately to make peace with her body...although it doesn't always work.

She's a girl who breaks down when she sees a picture of herself OWNING a 10 mile race, because her legs don't suit her.

She's the poor girl who grew up thinking that Freezer Queen Salisbury steak was a treat, as was shopping for school clothes at Goodies instead of Wal-mart or K-mart.

She's the girl in middle school who made fun of a classmate for what she was wearing...and has regretted it every moment since then.

She's the confident little girl that got jaded by life a little along the way.

She's the woman who gets self conscious about her body when her husband tries to compliment his favorite parts.

She's the woman who was left alone with a baby for the first time when her niece was 6 days old and her sister was in the hospital with congestive heart failure.  She sucked up her fear of losing her best friend because someone had to be strong for the family.

She's the young lady who "vacationed" in Memphis on a church mission trip putting a new roof on a home in the 90+ degree heat.

She's the slightly older young lady who "vacationed" in Memphis to help displaced Katrina victims that were displaced to a school.

She's the woman who prayed, cleaned, prayed some more, and cleaned even more when her husband called to say a live electrical wire fell on his vehicle as he was driving down the road.  Her house was spotless by the time help arrived to free him.

She's the same wife who, a few months earlier, had to beg her hemophiliac husband to go to the ER after sanding off the top of his finger. 

She's the woman who makes excuses as to why she doesn't need her parents down payment money for a house so that she doesn't offend them telling them she doesn't need it.

She gives her niece and nephew "money making more money" for their birthdays and Christmas because she understands the value of compound interest and saving money early in life.

She's the friend who visits your blogs and is excited for all the hard work you've done over the past week.  She's glad for your successes and sympathizes with your trials.  She enjoys reading your insightful thoughts on the scripture as well as your silly randomness in memes.

She's the blogger who feels more honest with her readers than she does with most of her IRL friends.  Partly because she forgets she is writing for anyone but herself. 

She lives in the house of her dreams.  Her aspirations of paying off her home mortgage in 5 years isn't just a dream - its a plan that they are currently working.  No matter how many people laugh and tell her its impossible.

She's the wife who ask her husband for help, then went on her own uploading pictures, working in Fireworks to prepare her photo.  Only to have her husband tell her 2 1/2 hours later that she was doing it wrong.

She's the girl who's turning in homework incomplete for the first time in her life today.  Because at 9:30 last night she gave up - defeated, broken - because in her quest to love herself, she'd been made to feel worse.

She's the girl who decided to go rogue at the last minute and make do with what she had. 

She's me.  

I've been fat.

I've been skinny.

I've been on top of mountains.

On my wedding day, my husband looked me in the eye and promised to love me forever.  He did this despite the fact that I weighed more on that day than I ever have in my life.

Through all of this, for better for worse...

I am me.

I love me.

I hate me.

And that's me.  Exposed.

October 12, 2010

To Post or Not to Post

Last night I had a mini-breakdown. 

Well I say mini, but that only means that nothing was thrown and no one was sent to the nuthouse.

Yesterday was the first day I really felt my weight gain.  In case you missed it - I've gained back 10 of the 15 pounds I lost over the course of last year.  Only I managed to find it again in just a couple of months.

I felt my double chin when I tucked my head down to swim.  I felt my inner thighs rub as I walked into work wearing a dress with no hosiery.  I just felt fat. 

When I got home the Mutant just noticed that I was wearing a dress, and not the thunder thighs the Maxi dress was covering.  He seemed to like what he saw, but since when does that matter?

Then I logged into my email and saw that I had a dailymile comment.  I had asked a DM friend and fellow 10 mile racer where she'd gotten the picture of herself she posted.  Her comment gave me the link to the pictures she'd been given at the finish line.  Apparently the bananas and bottled water weren't the only things long gone before I crossed.

I clicked on the link and navigated to the pictures of bib # 51-100.  I was bib 76, but was toward the back as they were posted in order they were taken. 

I found myself.  Then immediately began to cry.

I had thought my new black shorts were the perfect length running shorts.  Not so long that they hit my knee but not so short that they exposed too much of my leg.

I thought wrong.

Not only was half my leg out there for the world to see, but my inner thigh rubbage was causing a bad case of camel toe.  And my face was smiling - oblivous to it all.

Jay could hardly believe I was crying over something so silly.  Of course my wonderful twitter friends were there to comfort me, telling me how wrong I must be.  A couple tweeps even asked to see it.

This morning, for a brief moment, I considered posting it here.  Maybe following the picture I would comment on it as if it were a picture of you I was commenting all - complimenting your best features.

Then I worried that labeling myself a "fat cow" would offend someone...after in my head at least I'm not the largest person in the blog-o-sphere.  What if someone larger than me thought I was calling them a cow too?

No, surely we all understand that we are our own harshest critic. 

So I uploaded it.

And promptly deleted it.

I'm just not ready.  Maybe one day I'll become a part of the exposed movement, but for now I'm playing it save.  Posting waist up photos so you can't see the real me.  The whole me.

Don't I look insanely happy for someone who's just ran 7 miles and has the promise of 3 more to go?

October 11, 2010

Race Report - CrossKnox 10 Miler

This race sucked out loud.

I hate to say it but that's just the reality of it.  I had been a little lax in my triathlon training, and that hadn't hurt me any, so I was carrying that same attitude into my marathon training.  Last week I got lazy and skipped a run.  Then I missed another.  At the end of the week I only had 4 miles under my belt and 2 weights classes.  The rest of the training calendar was disappointingly empty.

Then there was the prerace nutrition.  I had very little water the day before the race.  Saturday was the day of the indoor yard sale and while I did remember to pack a cooler, I had no one to watch my booth.  Which mean any time spent in the bathroom was time that I could potentially be missing a sale.  I had 16 oz of water, 12 oz of Diet Mtn Dew, 20 oz of Toasted Almond Iced Coffee, and probably 20 oz of orange soda.

Just in case you are wondering that's a very bad hydration plan.

My eating wasn't much better.  An English muffin chased with a creme filled chocolate covered donut for breakfast.  Pizza and chips for lunch was my yard sale lunch.  Jay offered to take me out Saturday night because I was feeling pretty blah, but I decided we needed to stay home and eat in.

(With a twitter suggestion from Bari) I cleared the table of all electronics, turned off the overhead light, turned on the table lamp and lit a candle.  I was going to get out the "company's coming" dishes, but Jay already had our standard every day stuff pulled out and piled high with Jambalaya.

Sunday morning I ate a quick bowl of oatmeal and almonds before church, then packed a PB&J sandwich and an apple for my prerace lunch. 

Only it was Homecoming at church.  And they invited everyone to stay after for a potluck lunch.  I had two choices (due to tourist traffic where I live going home wasn't an option) - I could leave church, sit in my car for an hour and a half and eat my PB&J sandwich OR I could stay at church and enjoy some good country home cooking.

I promised myself I wouldn't eat a lot, southern potluck food isn't the lightest of fare.  But then I saw the lasagna and the chicken and dumplings and I just couldn't resist.  I capped off the meal with a slim piece of chocolate pie, a brownie, and a rice crispy treat and it was time for me to hit the road.

As always with Knoxville races, I got lost.  Thankfully Jay was home and near a computer and was able to guide me where I needed to be.

(Crap this is already a long post and the race hasn't even started!)

I had allotted myself 30 minutes to get to the race and 30 to register.  I hadn't allotted 15 minutes of getting lost time.  I was left with 15 minutes to register and the parking site was a block away from race registration.  I was in a bit of a rush and forgot my super cool water bottle.

This isn't my exact bottle.  Thanks to a google image search I found the picture here.  But it gives you an idea about what I was working with.  Typically I just slip it on my wrist and go.  It was about 8 minutes before the race start when I realized I had forgotten it in the car.  Assured that there were water stations on the course, I decided against a mad dash back to my vehicle.  I'd just drink what they provided.

Big mistake.

Although it was a race on Knoxville's "greenway" system, the first several miles were in the blazing sun.  Unseasonably warm - it was 85 degrees at the start of the race.  By the first aid station only 2 miles in, I was already parched.  The 1 oz of water provided by the volunteers did nothing to quench my thirst. 

Thankfully I got to the second aid station in time.  A run/walker caught up with me around the 5 mile marker.  She told a race volunteer that the 2nd station had ran out of cups and they need more.  She had advised them to pick up the cups and reuse them.  (Note to self: work on speed so that never happens to you.) 

Shortly there after I had to take my first walk breaks.  I know some of you swear by them, but my body just doesn't like to stop and walk.  Or rather it doesn't like running again after a walk break.  But I was so hot and thirsty I just couldn't keep running without a little bit of rest. 

By the third station I didn't care about my time anymore.  Fearful that they too would run out of cups, I stopped, drank, refilled, and drank some more.  Murder on both my time and my legs but it had to be done. 

Around mile 6 I started feeling better.  I remember what my husband had said about the mileage - I told him that I hadn't worked up to 10 miles and that I'd probably stop and walk a mile or two.  He responded with quite possibly the only kind words he's ever said about my running.

"You know how you get, after a few miles you just keep going and don't think about it.  You'll do all 10 miles no problem."

That gave me the extra umph I needed.  He didn't just say that to be nice.  I know when he comments about my running (for better or worse) he means what he says.

During mile 7 I heard a clatter.  Gosh this dehydration is worse than I though.  I'm starting to hear things.  The clatter got louder and louder.  A spectator had a cow bell - she was ringing it for all the runners as they went by.  This was the only part of the course with a turn around (its normally a 15K race but they added a little to make it 10 miles for 10-10-10) and as I passed her a 2nd time I spoke to her.

"I forgot my 'I need more cowbell' necklace at home.  Thanks for that!" 

After a few quick tears it was settled, I was going to own the last 3 miles of the race.  I didn't have anything left for my standard sprint to the finish, but I was able to pick it up a little more as soon as I saw the big "FINISH" banner.

I thought I was going to die stopping immediately after crossing the finish line to put my foot up on a 5 gallon bucket so my timing chip could be removed.  Unfortunately they had ran out of bottled water, but they were able to take the water coolers to a house nearby and fill them up.  I got a cup, walked, walked back, refilled X 5 before finally taking a seat in the grass to wait for a shuttle back.

This was my first point to point race and besides the constant changing scenery I wasn't a big fan.  Actually I wasn't a big fan of this race at all.  As hot as the day was with the sun directly overhead, there should have been more water stops.  There was no fruit at the finish line - just organic suckers and Carmel popcorn from Earthfare.

Back at the race start/awards ceremony there were Subway sandwiches and cookies, but still no fruit.  What's a girl gotta do to get some post race fruit??

What I'm banking from this race:

  1. I do not want to run on the Knoxville greenways without an escort. 
  2. This would be a good 20 miler (assuming I've got Jay or another family member on a bike with me) because of the permanent restrooms and water fountains along the way.
  3. I really need to step up my training if I wanna shave 15 minutes off my half time from last year.
  4. I need to take Disney more seriously.  I think because I've covered the mileage already I'm not as intimidated as I should be.
  5. Race day its PB&J all the way!!!

October 08, 2010

Keeping it real

Did you ever wish you were someone that you weren't? 

I'm not talking about wishing you were Josh Holloway's wife or could do push ups like Demi Moore in GI Jane. (Hi Christie O!)

I'm talking about wishing that a part of you were opposite of who you really are. 

A coworker and I were talking about Disney and she said I was crazy for not flying down.  It a 12-14 hour drive for us and we could probably get tickets for about $100 more than we'd spend on gas heading down there.

At that moment I wished I was the kind of person who didn't care about spending money.  To be the kind of person who buys the latest cell phone with all the gadgets, that goes on vacation without worrying about the cost, that goes out and spends hundreds of dollars on new clothes because her old ones don't fit any more.

Yes it would be nice to "live a little."

But the cost of a plane ticket isn't worth the cost of my security.  I know I've quoted it before, but Dave Ramsey (quoting someone else I can't remember) says that discipline is simply remembering what you want?  He advised to not get bogged down in the how as much as focusing on the why.

Why do I want to save money?  Why would I choose to deprive myself now?

(Although you'd be hard pressed to convince me that a weekend trip to Disney to pay $100 to run 26.2 miles is hardly deprivation of any kind.)

  • I want a paid for house.
    Our goal is to have the house paid in full over the course of the next 5 years.  Not an easy task, given that we haven't even had the home for a full year.  As a family who's livelihood is tied up in real estate, I think this is an important goal for us.  He only gets paid if he sells something, which doesn't happen every month.  Would be very freeing knowing that Bank of America isn't going to come calling at the first of every month - paycheck or no.
  • I want to retire early enough to travel and enjoy life.
    Sure - I hope to be a healthy, spry 75 year old, but we're not promised that.  I'd love to be able to retire at 60, hike the entirety of the Appalachian Trail with my Love.  Travel abroad, visit friends in other states (this means you) and just enjoy myself.
  • Pay cash for a bathroom remodel.
    I think we're going to be able to do this one once we close on that piece of property we sold.  We had the money for the new bathroom, then Jay decided we should use it to buy the land when it went up for auction.  Good thing too, since we were able to sell it for a profit in a very short turn around time.
  • Fund our Roth IRAs for 2010.
    Going along side both the retire and the bathroom goals, this one should happen this fall baring anything unforeseen.  The earlier you get started on retirement the more opportunity compound interest has to work in your favor.  I think we can accomplish this one with the money from the land sale.
  • Save up to buy a Jay a new (to us) vehicle. 
    He works very hard to provide for the family.  Hopefully in the near future we'll be able to save up cash to purchase that redneck quad cab pickup he's been wanting for years.
  • Vacation in Maui.
    We've had an offer from a buddy of Jay's who lives there to come stay with him for a week or two.
I realize that Disney falls into the "travel and enjoy life" category.  I really do.  But Maui on the cheap is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Disney is not.

So, yes, I'll admit to jealous of those of you wouldn't think twice about spending the cash for the plane tickets.  I do hope that I can convince Jay (and myself) that its worth it.

If not, I'll still be privileged enough to go to Disney, run the Marathon, and meet some wonderful ladies.  I may not have it all, but you've gotta admit to be able to do those three things I must have it pretty darn good.

October 07, 2010

Things that make my heart sing

Before I went to weights class I told Lora I'd link up to Thursday's 10.  Then I went to class wore my new size XS Nike sleeveless top...and spent most of the classing looking like Dora the Explorer. 

While the top fit me perfectly everywhere from the belly button up, it didn't like my hip area all that much and kept riding up to my mid section.  Seriously am I banished to a world of loose t-shirts for the rest of my life? 

I'm glad I committed to this list because I need to focus on the positive instead of something so trivial.

  1. A roaring fire in my fireplace.

One benefit of a 100+ year old house is a wood burning fireplace.  And a husband who's willing to do the hard labor to make that fire happen.  Which brings me to...

2. The Mutant

He loves me unbelievably.  When the 7:55 PM alarm goes off and I'm too lazy to get up and take my pill, he gets into my purse, brings me my pill and a beverage.   He works both smarter and harder to provide for our family.  When I want to spend time with my family, not only does he not complain, he's exited to get the opportunity too.

Which leads me to...

3.  My niece and nephew

In the picture is the Mutant, the Little Man and the Irishman (my BIL).  Those kids are wonderful.  You know that.  I could go on for days but I'll just say that I have the best. niece & nephew. ever.

4. Reading

I love books. I'm currently reading Mockingjay, the 3rd in the Hunger Games triology.  I haven't plowed through this one the same as I did the other two, but mostly because I'm afraid of how its going to end. 

 I'm team Peeta and am terrified that she's going to end up with Gayle .  Or that the Capital will win and they'll all die.  Or something even worse that I haven't thought of yet.

These books are good.  I was leery at first, given the disturbing premise of the book.  A friend insisted and once I got into the first few chapters and really got to know the characters I was hooked.

5. Hiking

I've told the Mutant before - I'm blessed, he's smart.  I'm blessed because I was born in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He's smart because of all the places in the country he chose here to live.  (And smart for choosing me :P)

Of course the picture leads me to...

6. My friends. 

Family is great, but they are stuck with me.  Its great knowing that I have wonderful ladies out there that spend time with me not because they have to or are obligated to, but because they choose to.  Friends to talk you out of through a stupid idea.  Friends that encourage you when you've had a bad day.  Friends who interview potential boyfriends to make sure they are worthy.  (FYI - They only interviewed one and he passed.)

7. Running

That should go without saying.  But I heart it too much not to mention it.  Its good therapy.  It provides me with countless non scale victories (which are crucial since yall have banned me from getting on the scale).  Its why I will be able to enjoy retirement by hiking the Appalachian Trail.  (Lord willing and the creek don't rise.) 

8.  Toasted Almond Iced Coffee w/skim milk and 2 splendas
(Dunkin Donuts)

Yum!  My sister got me a NY Yankee reusable cup when she was headed home from Cape Cod this summer.  Since its an official Dunkin cup I just get charged $1 for a refill whenever I use it.

9. Shoes. 
I love shoes.  I typically wear pumps, but have a pair or two of "f" me heels.  I had a lady comment that I was dressed down because I was wearing flats with a dress - in a work place where cargo khakis and baby tees are common place. 

Don't get me wrong I love my flats too.  And my tennies.  And my flops. 

*Note to self - take picture of kick-a shoe shelving system that the mutant built me.*

10. The Internet

I can't choose which I like better: blogs, twitter, facebook, message boards.  I've met quite a few online friends IRL.  I'm thankful for the love and support I get from all of you.

If only I had a home computer that could go wireless so I could enjoy you from my front porch swing...

October 06, 2010

I < 3 Me!

I was reading a new blog the other day - Healthy, Happiness & Skinny Jeans.  The author Samantha just completed a half marathon and was considering how far she's come in the past year.  The she challenged us readers to do the same.  Here was my comment:

I've trained for & completed a half marathon. I've set a new 5K PR while suffering from a respiratory infection. I trained for a triathlon only to be benched b/c of severe anemia. I took iron infusions, was released for training, and completed my first triathlon last week.

Oh and my husband & I celebrated our1st wedding anniversary in California, we bought a home together and are on track to pay it off in 5 years.

Somehow that's now how I view myself.  But that's me and my goals in a nut shell.  So why am I still so critical of myself?

Enter the Shrinking Jeans October Monthly Challenge - I love me (dammit!)  They've asked us to pledge the following:

The Pledge to Love Myself.

I pledge allegiance, TO MYSELF.

Today I will proclaim it

out loud,



From this day forward,

I promise to be nice.

TO myself and ABOUT myself.

I will accept my quirks and I will love my faults.

I will love my shape, whatever it is

My bones, my muscles, my hair and my face.

My body, all of it, inside and out.

Because that is what makes me, ME.

And there is only one of me.

I will finally allow myself

to see what others see.

My kindness, my spirit, my love.

And starting today, I will share some of it,

with ME.

Because I deserve it.

I will fight for myself, because I’m important.

And I deserve to be everything I am capable of in my life.

I deserve to find my greatness and live my life fully and completely.

With no regrets.

There is so much I want to do in my life,

but first, it begins with “me.”


Today, tomorrow, and every day after that.


And no one can stop me.


Sad that something so easy can be so difficult.  With that I present the top 5 reasons I should love me:

  1. Jesus does.  A very easy WWJD to answer.John 3:16
  2. I have a mutant that loves me.  He might not have abs like Wolverine, but he's still pretty incredible.  The best part?  Unlike the X-Men my mutant is real.   To have earned his love and his promise of forever then there must be something pretty special inside me. 
  3. I am adored by my niece and nephew.  Partly because they are amazing, but also partly because they know their Aunt Boo loves them with all her heart.
  4. My amazing friends - here and in real life.  Who am I to question their taste in friends?
  5. Because I know it.   Deep down. 
Today I completed my fastest. mile. ever.  It was a part of the Shrinkvivor challenge - Team Rogue represent!

My 5K PR is at a 10:40 pace.  Today?  I ran 1 mile in 9:07.  I understand that sustaining that over 3 miles would take some work but I blew my old pace out of the water.

Back this spring I whined complained explained to my sister and mom that with all the effort I was putting in, my pace wasn't getting any better.  The both urged me to see my doctor.  I was putting in far too many training hours for my times to actually be decreasing.

I brushed them off.  It was all I could do to not to burst into tears.  "I just suck.  A doctor can't help that."

When you believe lies about yourself it can lead to dangerous consequences.  Be it a damaged self esteem or over taxing your anemic body. 

Today I'm flying high.  My body can get faster.  With some work I have no doubt I'll be able to run a sub 30 minute 5K.  That's a goal that will have to wait until after Disney, but I do have a short term goal that I'm a bit scared to put out there but here goes...

I'm competing in a 3.2 mile race in 10 days - the On Cosby Moonshine Run.  My goal?  To meet my 5K best time.  Given the extra tenth of a mile, that'll mean running this in my fastest time ever - a full 20 seconds quicker than my 5K PR.  But I really think I can do it.

One thing I can not forget is that win, lose, or draw those 5 reasons I listed will still be applicable.

Because I'm that damn lovable.

Head on over to the Shrinking Jeans so that you can take the pledge and join us this month.

October 05, 2010

The One Where You Give Me Advice

I've got a couple things to confess, then I've got a question for you.  M'kay?

True Confessions

  • Dinner last night was an epic fail.  The irony of the "what's for dinner?" crisis on the same day I posted about my monthly shopping hiatus wasn't lost on me.  More than anything, I was cozy in front of the fire (yes it was cool enough yesterday for my man to build a fire) and I didn't wanna move.

  • I included a race report with my thank you letter to the infusion nurses.I toyed with whether or not that was me being vain, but I decided that in order for them to see what a difference they made in my life, they had to see how much racing means to me.

  • I can't keep my house clean.
    At first I blamed myself.  I've been busy for the past few weeks and haven't gotten around to it.  Then last night I cleaned my bathrooms and straightened up the house.  Only to have Jay come behind me a couple hours later and mess it up again.  Hard to be motivated to clean when there are tobacco flecks in the floor 2 hours after sweeping it.

  • I'm participating in an indoor yard sale this weekend.Our local civic center hosts the sale twice a year.  Instead of pricing everything I'm going to label my 2 tables "everything this table $1" and "everything this table $0.50.  I'll be sending the money I make to Christie O's Preemie Project

  • I'm an anxious person by nature.
    I'd like that to stop please and thank you.

  • I have very few pants that fit me.
    At my biggest, I was a size 8.  All of those pants are packed up and under my bed for if I ever get pregnant.  You know that awkward time when you're too big for your regular stuff yet too small for maternity wear?  A friend suggested I keep my 8s for just such an occasion.

    At my smallest, I was a size 4. 

    Right now I'm more of a 6.  The problem?  I didn't buy very many 6s on the way down.  I kept holding out for the 4 so I wore my too big pants around with pride.

    Here's where you come in?  I don't know what to do.  I don't really want to get the 8s out for fear I'll just continue growing until they fit me properly.  I don't want to invest in 6s out of hope that with marathon training will come weight loss.  BUT I can't go around wearing too tight pants until that happens.

    Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated!

October 04, 2010

The September Project

For the Month of August the Sisterhood challenged us to clean out our pantries and get things organized.  Never one to shrink away from the ultimate control freak high - putting things in their proper order - I tackled this project with all I had.

My final report was complete with pictures of my stash and a new challenge for myself - do only limited grocery shopping for the month and eat mostly from the pantry.

I decided that I would spend $15 or less weekly on groceries - allowing only enough for fresh produce, eggs, and milk.  I'll let you in on a secret: in my house we don't eat that many eggs and we certainly don't drink/use much milk.  The mutant is apparently a fruitphobe and only eats veggies when I cook them for dinner.

Given the quantity of food items in my house and our lack of fresh food eating, I never really expected this challenge to be difficult.  It was mostly for my purposes, to try to get creative with cooking as well as seeing how long our food stockpile would last.

I'll just tell you - I barely made a dent in it.  There were those lazy nights where I just made pizza rolls or baked frozen chimichangas with cheese sauce on top.  There were also nights where I dug deep into the cabinets and made old favorites with what we had stocked up.

The final result? 

$40.56 spent on groceries for the month (not including the weekend I was on vacation).  That's a $13.52 per week average.

Frozen convenience food was the only portion of our pantry that was used up, although the meat stash is starting to become slim pickins.  Jay and I are considering buying a 1/2 of a cow (not sure who we would split it with) to refill our freezer for the winter. 

If you've bought a whole cow like this before - please let me know what you though of it and any advice you might have!

The project did get me back into the habit of meal planning, although with lunches I've still got some work to be done.  I'm also excited to be pulling the "beef for stewing" out of the freezer for dinner this week.  Our temperatures have plummeted and its definitely beef stew weather!

October 01, 2010

The Weekend is a-coming!

  • I started the book Intuitive Eating last night and can already tell that it'll make a difference.  The first few chapters describe exactly what I'm going through right now.  Either they were able to read my blog before I ever wrote it - even thought it - or else I'm not the only one in this postion.  I'm hopeful that it will help.
  • I'm a month behind in my marathon training.  This should either be a 9 or 11 miler per my training plan.  It will be a 7 miler.  Crap - how am I going to make this up?
  • My parents are heading to my sister's to watch the Princess play soccer.  I figure its now or never for me, since my mileage will only be increasing. 
  • I have no clue when I'm going to clean my house. 
  • I'm a perfectionist.  So in my world a dirty house = failure as a human.
  • I'm considering a media fast.  Internet (non-work related), TV, movies, magazines.  I can't give up books and am not sure if I should give up the radio.  Can I last a week??
  • I go back to the Hematologist for my 3 month follow-up.  I'm hoping he cuts me loose after this.  Do you think it would be appropriate to write a thank you letter to the infusion nurses?  I thought about including my race report and saying "thank you for the gift of completing this race."  Thoughts?
  • Anyone had experience with iron-on words?  I was thinking about making a t-shirt for my next 5K.
  • Did I mention I'm a nervous rex (I <3 Toy Story) and overwhelmed?